Wings of Steel

April 16, 2008

Reflection: Act I

Filed under: Chapter Eight — Mao @ 1:03 am

So familiar and overwhelmingly warm
This one, this form I hold now.
Embracing you, this reality here,
This one, this form I hold now, so
Wide eyed and hopeful.
Wide eyed and hopefully wild.

We barely remember what came before this precious moment,
Choosing to be here right now. Hold on, stay inside…
This body holding me, reminding me that I am not alone in
This body makes me feel eternal. All this pain is an illusion.

Tool, “Parabol”

Valerie moved her limbs in tune with the vibrations she felt. Since returning from her session with Sanctus Unus, Valerie found it was a struggle to exist on this realm, much less function at a level that was beneficial. She hardly wanted to imagine what it would be like when she was fully changed. Right now the constant buzzing vibrations and the distant chattering of voices was enough to drive anyone to madness.

She breathed slowly, calming herself. She focused not on the vibrations nor the chattering, but on the energy itself. Everything had energy, she’d found out. Blades of grass, candles, even the specks of dirt were all imbued with the energy. Valerie had always been sensitive to it when she was younger, but she had no idea what it truly was.

Suddenly, she felt the shift. It was jarring at first, but her body eased. She didn’t bother trying to look–there was nothing to see. Her eyes were completely useless now and she didn’t need them. She could feel the warm sand beneath her bare feet and the cool, tropical breeze against her cheek. She could taste the salt in the air and hear the distant crashing of the waves. It was completely desolate, but teeming with energy. It was perfect.

‘Forget what it is to be mortal, Valerie Vega.’

One never needed to open their eyes to feel the presence of Sanctus Unus. Those who were close enough to the energy of the world felt the presence constantly. Valerie knew that she was no longer alone and she felt the faintest touch against her back.

‘You are Seer and as such, mortality is your curse to bear. It is time to break free from its chains.’

Valerie breathed deeply and continued with her motions.


    Great update, not sure if I understood everything tho =P. Nicolas, he was trying to make Val sad? What a mean.. I’d better not say that word =D. Why DOES she have to let everything go? I mean, I would hate to lose my name, my everything. Does she have to leave her personality behind too?

    Great update, keep em coming!

    Nicolas’ motives, and whether or not it is actually him, is all unknown right now. It’s a tough decision to make, to be certain. No one said it would be easy. We still don’t really know what Valerie has to give up.

    Comment by Dragongirl — April 16, 2008 @ 6:06 am

  2. Sheesh Valerie seems to have the weight of the world on her shoulders; hopefully she’ll forget Nicolas and embrace the challenge that is her destiny.

    I would hate to be her though :lol:

    It would seem that way, wouldn’t it? She really needs to, but you know it won’t be that easy. ;)

    Comment by PRMami — April 16, 2008 @ 6:33 am

  3. Wow, it seems Valerie has a serious inner battle going on there. Personally the old Valerie seemed weak. I’m looking forward to seeing a new stronger Valerie but not at the cost of her humanity. It just wouldn’t be Valerie without the drama, tears, and unfortunately yes, weakness.

    She really does, and has all along, actually. We’re just really starting to see it now. Valerie is very strong, but her experience with life and her situation have made her doubt her abilities. She is Antony’s daughter, after all, and when she has needed to step up in the past, she has (defeating the Demon Queen)… but she has no confidence and she’s quite lost. So that doesn’t help.

    Comment by Tiffany — April 16, 2008 @ 7:40 am

  4. ok did the Sanctus Unus send Nicolas to Valerie to help her face reality about what she is to become? Great chapter. I feel sorry for Valerie but can’t wait to see the whole thing unfold.

    Sanctus Unus’ control and influence on those on the opposing side is limited, so that isn’t the case here. It’s either actually him up to no-good or Valerie’s own doubts taking on a form.

    Comment by Detris — April 16, 2008 @ 9:17 am

  5. Nicolas isn’t that strong to be able to get into the secret cracks of someone’s mind, can he? But that’s how he stabbed her, isn’t it? So it could be him, but it could not. I was leaning toward not, but now I’m not so sure. I’m confused.
    Valerie, Valerie. I can’t help it; I feel for the girl. Maybe because I haven’t seen her in a while. They’ve always told her that she had to give up everything, and she’s already learned to give up her eyesight. Only now is she realizing that she truly has to give up everything, and at the end of all this she just might not be Valerie anymore. That’s a scary thought for anyone. Self is a hard thing to define, but you know when you lose it and feel the loss deeply.
    I remember Sanctus Unus mentioning something about her “true vessel.” Wonder if that’s where Ava/Beryl comes in.
    …I don’t doubt that if her crush on Nicolas got in the way that Sanctus Unus would find a way to get him out of the picture, but I never imagined her killing him.

    We don’t quite know the strength of Nicolas or Onael’s own abilities yet, but it isn’t something he should be able to do. However, we also have to remember that Valerie’s guard is down. So who knows? ;) Valerie is definitely feeling the weight of the sacrifice, though. Who wants to give up their identity? The true vessel has actually been mentioned once or twice before. I just made sure to follow up with a statement that would detract from it. The clues are sorta there.

    Comment by Infinity-Nevermore — April 16, 2008 @ 9:55 am

  6. Wow. Heavy, heavy stuff.
    I’m torn between saying “DON’T LISTEN TO HIM VALERIE! DON’T YOU REMEMBER WHAT HAPPENED THE LAST TIME YOU LISTENED!” and being like, “Hmm…maybe he kind of has a point…”

    That’s perfect! That is exactly what I want. You’re all supposed to be terribly torn or confused. ;) This chapter is a little ‘heavy’, but it can’t be helped. I try to lighten it up at parts, though.

    Comment by Cassie — April 16, 2008 @ 10:54 am

  7. Well that sucks. No matter how much the world would benefit, I don’t think that I would want to abandon myself. I mean, who WILL you be after that happens? I can understand her pain. And it all makes sense now. Nicholas wouldn’t have had the chance to be with Valerie anyway so him being evil just made things more interesting for me. But how did Abigail manage to be such a great seer when she was in love with Antony? Maybe she didn’t matter as much because she wasn’t a tool of Sanctus Unus?

    It’s a hard decision to make and Valerie doesn’t have much of a choice. Sanctus Unus hasn’t really explained it clearly, though, so all we can do right now is assume. Nicolas’ knowledge of his own fate came after he joined Onael. It’s likely she was the one to tell him all of that, or perhaps Samaria. Either way, it didn’t factor in on his decision to follow his path. Abigail wasn’t necessarily a great Seer–she was skilled, yes, but this was helped by Antony. Their relationship had a purpose, of course–Valerie.

    Comment by Eva — April 16, 2008 @ 11:19 am

  8. okay. i have chills!
    I’m speechless Mao.. that was deep.

    Haha, thanks. :D

    Comment by ruby — April 16, 2008 @ 11:24 am

  9. What a way to start Chapter 8! Valerie is still very much at war with herself, and I guess that Sanctus Unus and Nic are taking on the roles of her conscience – SU is the angel on one shoulder, and Nic is the devil on the other. They’re both telling her the same thing, but in different ways, and I know that I wouldn’t know who to believe if I were her. They seem to be suggesting that in order for her to do her duty she must die – abandoning her mortality and humanity implies death in a physical sense at least. And I’m still hanging on tightly to my feeling that SU is up to no good …. To throw a couple of cliches around she’s like a wolf in sheep’s clothing, so maybe Val should stick with the devil she knows (Nic).

    Out of all of the wonderful images and descriptions you’ve created for us, the sun breaking apart and the pieces falling down is my favourite :)

    I love your suspicion of Sanctus Unus. You have no idea! It’s fantastic. My fiance also did the whole ‘angel and devil on shoulder’ comparison. To be honest, I hadn’t even considered that when I was putting everything together. Funny how that works out. We don’t truly know what Valerie has to do, and we likely won’t find out, because she’s panicking. This chapter will be full of ‘which side is the right side’, to be certain. We’ll finally uncover just what Sanctus Unus is up to… Thanks, I usually think I suck at descriptions. It just never comes out right, like I see it in my head, but the words don’t quite match up. Oh well.

    Comment by Tanya — April 16, 2008 @ 12:34 pm

  10. Since I have a bone deep aversion to the concept of “pure good” and “pure evil”…I could easily believe that SU and Nic are different aspects of the same thing. Whatever it is. Not sure I’m right about that though.

    The demand to give up your self, which means your identity, your will to survive, your judgment about right and wrong, and your willingness to sacrifice not only yourself but people you love and even the concept of love apart from the entity who is demanding your obedience, is ancient and terrible and heart wrenching. Valerie’s blindness – her inability to use physical sight versus any other kind of sight – may actually be a point of strength.

    Might be completely off base here, but I loved it!

    Your description of the sun falling is gorgeous! I love the light you chose for your shots on the beach – that white hot light that bleaches out the color.

    Don’t worry, we share that aversion to a world of simple black and white. For me, everything has a consequence, good and bad. There is no decision, action, etc, that is without a repercussion somewhere and somehow. It’s balance, to me. Wings of Steel is very heavily about balance, which I’ve beaten into the ground so hard it’s barely poking its head out above the dirt, haha. Don’t worry, we’ll find more out about Sanctus Unus. Nicolas is nowhere on par with it, though. Omnipotent being > Nicolas, without question, haha. We will find out, ultimately, what Valerie has to give up in plain english within this chapter.

    Comment by Beth — April 16, 2008 @ 4:27 pm

  11. hmmm a little bit confusing but other than that, poor Val. She just seems so sad lately-plus I think she might be a little off her rocker lately, but who am I to judge?

    Valerie has always been a bit off her rocker, haha. It isn’t a good time to be her, that’s for sure.

    Comment by liz — April 16, 2008 @ 6:06 pm

  12. Oh wow, I love the pictures in this chapter Mao! :D

    Nicolas… I don’t know what to say about him. Valerie better be getting some measure of control/an idea about her purpose soon, its been like a year, and shes still indecisive and annoying. (Sorry, but Valerie irks me most of the time, xP)

    Thanks! This is another one of those ‘Mao has fun taking pictures’ chapters, which you’ll see as time goes on, I’m sure. Valerie’s purpose requires a great deal of sacrifice, so it isn’t easy to deal with. We also have to keep in mind she’s only nineteen and even then, her mentality level is significantly lower than that. Being a Seer isn’t easy and being a chosen Seer is even worse!

    Comment by Josh — April 16, 2008 @ 6:47 pm

  13. There’s no doubt that Sanctus Unus is not telling the whole truth to Valerie and that there is an ulterior motive there somewhere.

    That Nicholas is her subconscious, the part of her that still questions rather than follows.

    I don’t envy her position in the least.

    Yeah, Sanctus Unus is definitely leaving things out. However, Valerie questioning Sanctus Unus will not go over well. I can guarantee that!

    Comment by Anghard — April 16, 2008 @ 10:02 pm

  14. Be it Nicolas or just his image, its still a clear indication that the never having had the chance to fully feel love and lust and passion (particularly with those around her are partaking quite freely in those very things) is a very heavy burden for Val. Its hard to give up what it is to be human when some of those key aspects have never been touched on.

    Things are starting to click over in my brain – Val is to guide the true vessel…so is she to take over the vessel in a similar sort of way Beryl was the vessel of the Queen?

    Yeah, Valerie is definitely missing out. But we also have to remember… she isn’t as developmentally able as the rest. Valerie is still kinda… slow. Which doesn’t show, given her abilities and her blindness, but it’s always been something she’s carried. She isn’t stupid, just a few years behind when it comes to her mentality. She has a heavy burden to carry, that’s for sure. And that is a VERY interesting way of looking at it. I can’t really say anything, of course, but I love it when you surprise me with your predictions/etc. :D

    Comment by goodbye_sun — April 17, 2008 @ 4:09 am

  15. OMG I was re-reading the Act {As I usually do to take it all in} And I spat out my dinner in surprise, I thought it said, “You have as much mortality as a bear.” LOL I re-read it to find out it didn’t mention bears at all =(. Your right, now I come to think at it. Nicolas’s intentions are quite mystified and unknown. The effects are awesome, now that I have actually eaten and noticed the incredibility of the pictures. Way, way awesome, and also a little bit heavy. It’s solemn, but seeing as it’s a new chapter, it’s exciting at the same time! Are you SURE Onael didn’t send Nicolas on this mission? He looked real enough to me…

    Yay, you ate! You should really do that more. ;) Comments can also help bring things to light, either by author of the comment or by my replies. I’ve noticed that. Thanks! As for whether it really is or isn’t Nicolas, only time will tell…

    Comment by Dragongirl — April 17, 2008 @ 5:56 am

  16. Poor Valerie…wow, I’m surprised she’s working the whole nouk dreadlocks hair…hehe, I guess when Sanctus Unus wants to give someone a makeover you really can’t protest…BUT WHAT ABOUT CHRISTIAN AND BERYL!!!

    Her hair is a part of her change, haha. Her body is slowly being taken over by the energy. It won’t be as dramatic as Christian’s change (he’s in a new body entirely), but still. As for Beryl and Christian, sorry, next chapter! :P

    Comment by Phil — April 17, 2008 @ 2:44 pm

  17. aww! i feel so bad for val.. she misses him? i dunno, seems like she does. its so unfair shes forced into this… i loved the pictures in this act!

    where the hell is Melissande?! i miss Melissande!

    Haha, Valerie surely misses Nicolas. It is definitely unfair. Thanks! I love that you miss Melissande… she’ll be popping up soon enough.

    Comment by Alex — April 18, 2008 @ 7:05 am

  18. Emm, i’m a bit confuse there. But still it is nice to see valerie and not so nice to see nicolas, he look very creepy.

    Haha, I’m glad Nicolas looked creepy. He was supposed to!

    Comment by karen — April 18, 2008 @ 2:01 pm

  19. Aaargh! Valerie should make up her mind about what she really wants and stand by it. Creepy Nicholas wouldn’t have such a hold on her if she did. Can’t wait until the next entries ;-)
    I love your pics as always. Especially the warm light in Valeries training ground.

    Very true. Valerie is vulnerable right now, mostly due to her inability to come to a solid decision. Hopefully this chapter will remedy that problem…

    Comment by brittybe — April 20, 2008 @ 3:57 pm

  20. First and foremost,
    Valerie looks GREAT.
    Secondly, I loved the update,
    but is Nicolas really that much of a jerk now? Or was that Sanctus Unus?

    She’s certainly looking more mature, that’s for sure. Nicolas has always and will always be a jerk, nope, it wasn’t Sanctus Unus.

    Comment by Jacqueline — April 23, 2008 @ 11:43 am

  21. OH poor Valerie!! (seems like that is one of my favorite “lines”) lol

    Anyway, She still so hurt by Nicolas, you know even if I hate him, I have to agree with him…. I love Lucy, I said I was in Team Lucy, lol
    but Sanctus Unus is doing exactly the same as Onael… using her “pieces” for different reasons or purposes but in the end it is just the same, they are using the lives of the chosen ones… Nicolas was chosen as child and so does Valerie…

    Once everything is said and done, Valerie would lose herself, unless she can remain true to her nature, like Christian did… He is still the same as before, his feelings, his soul and even his mind is still the same!! I wonder if Valerie could do that, but I doubt it, Sanctus Unus said she needed to forfeit everthing :(
    Such a sad fate!!!

    Valerie’s role is very different from Christian’s, so it isn’t necessarily the same situation. We’ll see more of that later. Surprisingly, Valerie doesn’t have the saddest fate of all… that’s yet to be seen.

    Comment by sandybvv — August 27, 2008 @ 7:02 pm

  22. I still refuse to believe Nicolas is truly evil.

    You may want a paddle to help you sail down de nile. ;)

    Comment by alice — September 13, 2008 @ 5:26 pm

  23. I don’t want Valerie not to be Valerie anymore :( . And I can’t help it… I still have this faint hope that these two wil get together. But I guess if Valerie has to abandon her mortality that is never going to happen. *sigh*.

    I think the nail has been put in that coffin, LOL! He did try to kill her.

    Comment by Verity — October 3, 2008 @ 7:31 am

  24. Poor Valerie…I don’t envy her right now. Abandoning mortality and everything that makes you you doesn’t seem like a laugh riot to me.

    She’s having a bit of a hard time lately.

    Comment by Carla — January 2, 2010 @ 10:25 pm

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